World Heritage and Intangible Cultural Heritage

Sacres Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range

Inscribed: 2004


Main data

Name of Property
Sacres Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range
YoshinoyamaYoshino Mikumari-jinjaKimpu-jinjaKimpusen-jiYoshimizu-jinjaÔminesan-jiKumano Hongû TaishaKumano Hayatama TaishaKumano Nachi TaishaSeiganto-jiNachi no ÔtakiNachi Primeval ForestFudarakusan-jiÔmine OkugakemichiKumano Sankeimichi IsejiKôya SankeimichiNiutsuhime-jinjaKongôbu-jiJison-inNiukanshôfu-jinjaKumano Sankeimichi NakahechiKumano Sankeimichi KohechiKumano Sankeimichi Ôhechi
Owase City, Kumano City, Daiki Town, Kihoku Town, Mihama Town and Kihou Town, Mie Prefecture
Gojo City, Yoshino Town, Kurotaki Village, Tenkawa Village, Nosegawa Village, Totsukawa Village, Shimokitayama Village, Kamikitayama Village and Kawakami Village, Nara Prefecture
Shinguu City, Tanabe City, Hashimoto City, Katsuragi Town, Kudoyama Town, Koya Town, Shirahama Town, Susami Town, Kamitonda Town, Nachikatsuura Town and Kushimoto Town, Wakayama Prefecture
Tentative List Submission
Tentative List Submission: 2001
Nommination: Jan/2003
Inscribed: Jul/2004
Minor Boundary Modification
Minor Boundary Modifications: 2016
Cultural Heritage Division, Lifelong Learning Bureau, Wakayama Prefectural Board of Education
Cultural Resource Utilization Division, Nara Prefecture
Municipality Website
(Wakayama Prefecture World Heritage Centre)
(Nara Prefecture)
(Mie Prefecture)
UNESCO Website

Related Resources


Set in the dense forests of the Kii Mountains overlooking the Pacific Ocean, three sacred sites – Yoshino and Omine, Kumano Sanzan, Koyasan – linked by pilgrimage routes to the ancient capital cities of Nara and Kyoto, reflect the fusion of Shinto, rooted in the ancient tradition of nature worship in Japan, and Buddhism, which was introduced from China and the Korean Peninsula. The sites (506.4 ha) and their surrounding forest landscape reflect a persistent and extraordinarily well-documented tradition of sacred mountains over 1,200 years. The area, with its abundance of streams, rivers and waterfalls, is still part of the living culture of Japan and is much visited for ritual purposes and hiking, with up to 15 million visitors annually. Each of the three sites contains shrines, some of which were founded as early as the 9th century.